Did you know that centuries ago our ancestors would dig wells paying homage to their lost loved ones during Pitru Paksha? Or that they used to export cotton across the world? We discovered several such interesting facts about the Indian civilisation during our chat with husband-wife duo DK and Hema Hari during their visit to Sakal Times office recently.
The couple has been researching on Indian culture and civilisation for the past 17 years. They have researched over 101 subjects and studied a timescale from the present day to 8,000 years ago.
“We take the technical perspective and present it to the youth of the land, to whom it belongs. In fact, our book Historical Rama has become evidence in the Ram Sethu case in Supreme Court of India,” says Hari, who, along with his wife Hema, has written around 13 books, including Historical Krishna, Understanding Shiva, Ramayana in Lanka, Ayodhya: War and Peace, Telugu Talli, Indo-Japan, Creations and others, and has made 4 films.
“A few years back, the Sri Lanka Government had invited us to research on Ravana because if Rama is historical, then Ravana cannot be mythical. He has to be historical too. So we made a few trips to Lanka and went up all the hills several times and studied thoroughly. One third of Ramayana happens there. All our research is now with the Supreme Court of India as official documents,” he says.
Hari refuses to call their subject only history as he believes that history becomes a boring subject. “The history of Akbar, Babur and others starts there and ends there. But we pursue civilisation study,” he adds.
They focus on four aspects of Indian civilisation including the timelines, which are not sufficiently expressed. “Anything we do not know we keep referring to it as prehistoric dates. When it comes to the history of Shivaji or Gandhi or others, you have their date of birth and other key events from their life and obviously factual evidence. We have to look into them,” says Hari who is also the founder of Bharath Gyan, a research foundation.
Through their work they are replacing facts about Indian civilisation and bringing in the right perspective. “Most people refer to the Ramayana and Mahabharata as Indian mythology. Mythology comes from the Greek word ‘mythos’ meaning not true and in Sanskrit, the word ‘mithya’ means false. But the epics are also part of ‘Itihasa’, which is divided into three parts — ‘Iti-Ha-Asa’, which means it thus happened. But the colonial historians termed them as mythology. Why? Because they have a genuine problem. Archbishop James Ussher (1581–1656), one of the most important biblical scholars of the 17th century, deducted that god created earth at 9 am on October 23, 4004 BC. Ussher made the proclamation, which exists even today. So can’t there be kings and kingdoms before god created earth? Why have we branded Indian or Greek happenings as mythology?” asks Hema, who is an expert in archaeoastronomy, which is the study of how people in the past have understood the phenomena in the sky and what role the sky played in their cultures.
Reading the sky chart
“Ancient historians have left their knowledge and where do you look for it? In the sky,” she says, adding, “In those texts, the rishis have mentioned the combinations in the sky during a particular event and we calculate those and come to a conclusion.”
Citing an example, Hari says, “How do we know when Rama was born? Sri Ram Navami so we know it’s Navami which means ninth day of the moon. The month is Chaitra and the sun is in Aries. So, we work through the sky chart,” says Hari. The couple says that archaeoastronomy has become a new field of study in universities in Canada and Australia. “They are finding out when Jesus Christ was born. It is becoming a way to find out about history, which is very ancient or prehistoric,” says Hema.
Talking about their books on Lord Krishna, Hari says that they have divided the books into three parts — Dating of Krishna (there’s a pun in it because he did a lot of dating), Footprints of Krishna and Facets of Krishna. “We all know that he was born in Mathura and what he did and that he lived in Dwarka. But do you know why it is called Dwarka? Because it had a massive port and was the door or gateway to Arabic and Persian civilisation through sea,” says Hema.
Making it contemporary
To understand the connection, they studied the anchors. “The wooden ships used then had been destroyed but the anchors under the sea were made of stone. The anchors in Persia and Dwarka should tally and we studied those,” says Hari.
He adds that India was the navigation giant of the world. “The Indian coastline was connected from across, starting from Baluchistan or Chittagong and we had a warm coastline so we could sail throughout the year. We celebrate Bali jatra in Odisha because we used to sail from there to Bali for trade and today we still celebrate it,” says Hema.
They have written about the 64 kalas of Krishna but he knew several other kalas, says Hema. “We knew Krishna as a cowherd but he was a visionary. Why did he travel all the way to Dwarka leaving his land Brajbhoomi? That’s because he was a businessman and trading was possible in Dwarka,” she explains.
The very first miracle we connect with Krishna is the day he was born, when his father carried him and the water parted to make way for him. “How can that happen? There is a concept called ‘wind set theory’. It means when the wind force is more and the water is shallow, there’s a possibility of the water moving apart and that’s what must have happened,” says Hari, adding that they are not trying to find logic through their study but finding a perspective from today’s time.
“Today, if I talk about wind set theory, a science or engineering student will understand it, otherwise they will not understand or connect with it so we have to do mind orientation,” adds Hari.